Read The Long Last Call by John Skipp Online


It is closing time at the strip club when a well-dressed stranger comes in. He has a briefcase full of cash, but every dollar he spends stirs up a bit more hatred in whoever he gives it to. The stranger knows that he only has to wait to see all of his blood-drenched plans fulfilled....

Title : The Long Last Call
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780843958430
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 305 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Long Last Call Reviews

  • Danger
    2019-05-22 21:20

    I was expecting to like this book (I’m a fan of Skipp) but THIS WAS SO FLIPPING GOOD I can hardly stand it! Economically told, the prose moves like a ballet dancer, from one character to the next, a dozen times, perfectly setting them up - arcs and all - as this gore-filled and revelatory night at the strip club takes a turn for the apocalyptic. There’s not a wasted word on the page, and for all the things this book has to say about love and greed and all the aspects of human nature, it sure doesn’t spare us on the sex and violence! Yes, The Long Last Call crams just about as much as I could handle into its breadth. In a word: EXCELLENT!Bonus: The edition of the book I had also contained the novella Conscience, published later as the title story a stand-alone collection, by which you can read my review here:

  • Kasia
    2019-05-09 20:39

    When I saw that Fangoria gave this book praise on the cover I knew I had to have it. This is an extremely fast read one can easily finish this in one evening if uninterrupted since John Skipp is a talented writer. His style is very fluid and easy to understand and he doesn't shy away from writing whatever his imagination dictates but I didn't find this terribly scary or over the top gory. I've read heavier books so this was a nice morsel but nothing that would shock me, if anything it was the teasing he did with the reader, luring the mind into his tale without revealing what exactly is about to perspire. I can see how this can be compared to movies such as From Dusk to Dawn, although there are no vampires - there is however a rowdy strip club fight at the end that made for a really fun read.When a dark stranger walks into a strip club called Sweet Thangs in middle of nowhere, he changes the lives of everyone inside. His expensive clothes, tight leather gloves and suitcase brimming with money are nothing but a façade, a way to get into people's weak mind. The closing hours are winding down but the strippers and everyone inside notice the wealth that came through and no one wants to go home. He enjoys the way he captures everyone's attention as they vie for his riches, little do they know that he brings more than cold hard cash; he's the harbinger of doom in ways that they can't even imagine. I can't say too much; it would spoil the glorious buildup that Skipp masterfully creates but the book was entertaining and explosive, especially towards the end. With names like Ambrosia, Pearl and Kristal, the strippers didn't shy away from being catty and over the top, but it was the money and the mysterious slick residue that coated it that brought out the real freak from inside out, each character in the novel showed who they really were and nothing can mesmerize a human like a dollar bill, or a stacks of hundreds to be precise.I enjoyed the lovingly written intro for John Skipp, done by Brian Keene. I can see Skipp's influence on his style of writing and why he's such a big fan. It was certainly nice to see what horror writers like to read themselves.- Kasia S.

  • Robert Beveridge
    2019-05-10 02:18

    John Skipp, The Long Last Call (Leisure, 2006)Let me tell you a little story, given that the average age of Amazon users is low enough that most of you probably think that the only people doing horror between James (either one, take your pick) and Candace Caponegro were King, Koontz, and Barker. We all remember King and Koontz because they were the guys, back in the late seventies, who spawned a ten-year golden age of horror, during which every press in America was jumping to sign up every mediocre horror author they could find. Most of them, for obvious reasons, have faded into obscurity. The downside of that is that many of the really, really good ones have also faded into obscurity. Who remembers Edward Levy these days? And yet he penned two of the most effective horror novels of the early eighties, The Beast Within and Came a Spider. And then there's Clive Barker, the sole remaining popular representative of what was known as the splatterpunks. (Splatterpunks are a lot like industrial bands in that most of those who got the tag argued that their work didn't actually fit, but there you go.) If you travel back to the pre-Barker proto-splat days, back to the Ur-splat, if you will, you find yourself holding one wonderful novel—John Skipp and Craig Spector's now largely (and unjustly) forgotten debut, The Light at the End. It broke so much ground in so many ways. If you read it now it will probably seem dated. You know why? Because pretty much every vampire novel that has come since that isn't slavishly faithful to Anne Rice (whom Skipp and Spector memorably, and humorously, skewer in The Light at the End) has assimilated the new tropes put forth by Skipp and Spector. I read The Light at the End back in the early eighties and became a fan of Skipp and Spector's. (A couple of years later came The Scream, and fandom became a love affair, but that's another review.) At the very end of the golden age, Skipp and Spector parted ways, Barker had gone off to the world of fantasy, and most of the splat pack went to ground, along with most horror authors who weren't selling a million books a pop. John Skipp went into filmmaking. But horror novelists, whatever else they do, cannot stop being horror novelists forever. (I keep telling myself this while waiting for Kathe Koja to write another of the best horror novels ever written.) And thus, John Skipp has returned to the fold, this time with two novellas.“The Long Last Call” has been described as Needful Things meets... oh, hell, I'm drawing a blank, and I already sent it back to the library. In any case, that's probably all you need to know, as long as you're a Stephen King fan, except the chap in question sets up shop in a strip club. (In his introduction to the book, Brian Keene mentions that Skipp originally wrote this as a screenplay; let me add my name to those who proclaim that I will pay damn good money to see this brought to the big screen, at least as long as it isn't cut down to get an R.) It's your typical Friday night crowd, if a little sparse, when Hank stumbles into the club. He's drunk, he's just burned a picture of his ex-girlfriend (though it's never explicitly stated, I always got the feeling that she'd died rather than dumped him) by accident, he's slightly schizophrenic, and he's looking to forget about all that. Except, he discovers, that one of the dancers looks entirely too much like his ex. The situation is already a little tense when the dark stranger with the attache case full of bills walks in...“Conscience”, the second of the stories, involves a hit man who's got the job of his dreams—he's supposed to kill a cult leader who not only seduced away the girlfriend of the accountant who commissions him, but his own girlfriend as well. How can he resist? All is well and good until the night before the hit, when he wakes up from a nightmare to hear the shower running. What he finds inside, well, that would be a spoiler.I can't talk about one of the novellas without talking about both, which is a wonderful thing; the two complement one another in every way. For example, Skipp not only inherited the dark-stranger vibe of Needful Things, but King's writing style as well. (I have to say that I was originally planning on knocking Skipp down a couple of stars for the writing style in “The Long Last Call”; the satire, while way over the top, is also subtle enough that it never occurred to me that Skipp was actually lampooning King.) Where “The Long Last Call” is a hammer to the face, though, “Conscience” is understated, despite the odd ebullience of its main character, who sounds like he's constantly working under a low-level caffeine buzz. (Where “The Long Last Call” is King, “Conscience” is Spillane.) Where “The Long Last Call” glories in Skipp's splat heritage, “Conscience” pushes off into new ground. “The Long Last Call” is a splash of steak tartare, “Conscience” is yuzu sherbet with a shot of limoncello to chase. Either taken by itself is worthwhile, but together they are something more than the sum of their parts. John Skipp truly is back. Horror fans rejoice. *** ½

  • Glenn Rolfe
    2019-05-14 02:28

    This was my first time reading either of the two novellas in this book.Really enjoyed The Long Last Call. Terrific novella and Skipp's style is raw, brutally honest, and perfect for this story. Here's my initial take on that one:"Finished the first of the two novellas in here, the title story, "The Long Last Call" . Great stuff! A pretty fantastic good vs. evil tale that ends amazingly. The characters were great as was the story. I did get confused with it switching from person-to-person so often, especially between all the girls, but overall, that didn't impact my rating. Definitely 4.5 stars!As for the 2nd novella, "Conscience".....the beginning was great. Skipp's style was perfect, his character was interesting...the initial situation hooked me. He's on a train making observations of the fellow passengers...Then, he arrives in California and we find out he's a hitman of sorts. I was reminded of Grosse Point Blank for a minute with the "job" starting to get at him, but it wasn't as cool or amusing (not that I thought that that was Skipp's intention) as the great Cusack film. What we got instead was this dirt bag hit man who has a run in with his conscience. It just wasn't very interesting for me. Again, I enjoy Skipp's use of language and his observations and style throughout this story, but I just had a hard time giving a crap about the main character and that kills it for me.Because of how much I enjoyed the title novella, I'll give the combo 4 stars.

  • Dark Recesses
    2019-05-16 19:42

    THE LONG LAST CALLBy John Skipp Last year, we saw the triumphant return of John Skipp, editor extraordinaire, as he bagged a Stoker for MONDO ZOMBIE-- a project roughly thirteen years in the making. This year, John Skipp, the proud Splatterpunk Papa, returned to the fiction arena with THE LONG LAST CALL, a tale of demons and strip club dancers, of innocence and bloated lusts.Don’t get me wrong. It’s not as if Skipp wasn’t busting his butt in the world of horror and beyond. Since the late 90s, he’s been busy editing, writing collaborations with others, making music videos, short films, and even adult movies (for which he won an AVN), and writing screenplays. But to his fans, his return proper was a moment of truly bizarre dichotomy.A sense of expectation, for sure. Finally, the man who made some of us want to be rock n’ roll horror writers was coming back to the fold.But many wondered if that old Skipp magic was still there?Could he pull off another ANIMALS or THE BRIDGE?This reviewer is here to allay any such fears. Despite the relative short length, THE LONG LAST CALL is vintage Skipp, but with a whole new wisdom.Written initially as a screenplay for a film that Skipp intended to produce, he cleverly keeps that cinematic vision throughout the story, moving from one character to another with an editor’s eye for continuity and pace. After introducing the reader to Hank, an angst ridden young country boy, who might just be a little less than sane, we’re escorted into SWEET THANGS, a strip club off the beaten trail. Using a technique rivaling the famous opening tracking shot in Orson Welles’ TOUCH OF EVIL, we meet the assorted cast of dancers, a sleazy drugged out club owner, a muscle bound bouncer with plans of his own, a trio of local dollar tipping rowdies, and the wallflower stripper mom. Enter The Dark Stranger, loaded with cash and big plans for a night’s not-so-innocent entertainment.If you’ve ever been lucky enough to attend a Skipp reading, you’ll recognize the loose and easy style of writing as the same way in which he reads aloud for his eager fans. It’s as if your favorite uncle is sitting across from you, relaying the damnedest story from his checkered past. The litmus test of a true craftsman is how easily Skipp is able to keep the breakneck pace, layer the violence and sex to a heady pitch, and still load the story with pathos and emotion. If THE LONG LAST CALL is any indication of what the future holds for Skipp fans, we all have thanks to give to whatever writing gods convinced him to come back again.All Hail the Splatterpunk King.--Nickolas Cook

  • Mark
    2019-05-15 22:32

    According to the introduction, this bizarre short novel started life as a screenplay and that’s evident, from the various POV changes (each sentence begins with …) to the highly amusing amount of times characters or actions are REPRESENTED IN BLOCK CAPITALS. The story details the night that a stripper bar in the middle of nowhere literally goes to hell but, to be honest, it doesn’t work too well. It’s very slight, the bulk of the characters are little more than fodder, there’s no real explanation for what happens (either why or, indeed, where the god-like creature comes from) and it’s not entirely clear what happens to the folk who are ‘touched’ (apart from they’re called monsters and look a bit like Cro-Magnon’s). Bearing in mind Skipp’s pedigree (Splatterpunks and on), this is more than a little disappointing.

  • Chris
    2019-04-24 22:30

    This book is composed of two novellas - although, at 185 pages, the title story might actually be considered a novel. I am a fan of John Skipp's earlier works (with Craig Spector) and wholeheartedly welcome him back to print but I am not very impressed with the title story in this set. As noted in the introduction, it was originally written as a screenplay which is evident in the pacing and action sequencing. I prefer stories with a bit more depth. This one reminded me of the second half of the film, From Dusk Till Dawn. The second story, Conscience, is far superior to The Long Last Call and itself is worth the price of the book. It was true to the form of John Skipp's most noteworthy works - a thought-provoking idea married with crisp writing and an in-your-face attitude. Classic John Skipp!

  • Craig DiLouie
    2019-05-20 02:20

    I am now officially a huge John Skipp fan. He’s amazing. In THE LONG LAST CALL, he delivers all of his trademark elements–an enclosed space with no way out, a demonic murderer with a violent familiar, great characters you care about, tons of splatter, and few people standing at the end–wrapped in his equally trademark lyrical, conversational, breathless style. The novel tells the story of the people who inhabit a strip club in the middle of nowhere, from the strippers to the owner hyped up on coke to the bouncer with a mean streak to the customers who come in to drool and spend their dollars on their favorite girls. Then a well-dressed stranger walks in with a briefcase full of cash. And every dollar he spends stirs up a little more anger, a little more hate, until the pressure builds, builds, explodes. If you like straight up splatterpunk, this one’s for you.

  • Nick
    2019-04-28 21:19

    A dark stranger pulls into a seedy strip club parking lot dressed to the nines with devilish good looks and a briefcase packed to the gills with cash. He starts spreading the wealth amongst the entertainment and clientele, but a few brave souls see through his facade. This man is an agent of evil and with his mere touch the demon within comes out to play.[return][return]This is my first experience with John Skipp and as I read the other reviews here I find that The Long Last Call is sort of a "welcome back to the splatterpunk genre" release. The book was graphic and entertaining enough, but more importantly it has sparked an interest for me to go back and look for some of his earlier work to see how it compares. I would recommend this book to fans of extreme horror.

  • William M.
    2019-05-01 23:36

    After the first couple of chapters, even the average horror fan knows exactly where this one is going, but that doesn't stop it from being an incredibly enjoyable and addictive read. Skipp writes surprisingly detailed characters for such a short piece of fiction. He takes out almost all the fat, leaving nothing but lean, raw, fast-paced action, gore, and sex. It's a great ride and reads like the movie it was always intended to be. I understand that Skipp wrote the screenplay to this before the novel, so I'm hoping to see this someday in the theater. The added novella, Conscience, that was included at the end of the book, was a bit disappointing, but the book is still well worth purchasing and adding to anyone's collection because of the lead title. Great stuff.

  • Shawn
    2019-05-17 19:22

    A very good splatterpunk novel here, by one of the creators of the genre himself, John Skipp. This was a good if on the short side. I wish he would have gone into a few more details in the title story. The copy I read also has another story to fill out the book called Conscience. This story is as equally good to the first one, which is a bonus. A story about a hitman going through a midlife kind of crisis with a twist. This was as wonderfully intense as the first one was wonderfully bloody.

  • Adamus
    2019-05-06 00:39

    This book had 2 really good novellas in it. Both story's were really unique & the characters were really interesting. There is also a really cool introduction by Brian Keene another really great author & a favorite of mine. This is only the second book I read from John Skipp & I'm definitely a fan. His writing style is like no other & he's also a legend in the splatter punk genre. I definitely look forward to reading more of his books.

  • Nick
    2019-05-11 19:28

    The back of the book says "Needful Things" meets "From Dusk Till Dawn" and that is the perfect description of this short novel. Closing time at the strip club, the stranger enters and things get weird and violent. To really say anything about the plot would spoil the fun. Just grab the book and enjoy the ride.

  • Evan
    2019-04-26 21:31

    "Meh" is the best way to describe this book. Lean and fast-paced writing don't make up for the cardboard characters and general flatness of the story. Ends in a manner completely batshit and totally stupid. Recommended only for die-hard Skipp fans.

  • Zak McGaha
    2019-05-16 03:35

    A fast-moving, gritty piece of horror that's packed with some serious emotion.

  • Scott
    2019-05-10 03:38

    This was my first experience with John Skipp. He's an excellent writer; I feel he set a mood and kept the tension up throughout the story. The characters were not that well developed. I didn't really come to care deeply about any of them. Of course, that may be the nature of the story. There weren't many likable characters to root for except for one. This story is set in a strip club and shortly before closing, a handsome stranger shows up with a briefcase full of cash. He wants a private party after the club closes, and everyone who is in the club at this late hour is invited. But somehow, his money is sort of slimy. And so is his touch. Something's wrong. He wants something other than what the proprietor and the performers think he wants. And he's not going to leave until he gets it. It was a short novel, probably more of a novella, with a longish introduction by Brian Keene and a second novella called CONSCIENCE tacked on the end. I liked the characters in CONSCIENCE better than those in LAST CALL, but the plot didn't seem to go anywhere in the end. The writing is good throughout, but I can't give it my highest rating because of the flaws.

  • Robert A.
    2019-05-22 19:22

    A dark horror novel that sinks the reader into the depths of evil and degeneracy is how I describe this story. It is not my usual fare, but I'll admit that it was well done, and I liked it. The author's shotgun narrative style fit the story exactly. To some readers the content and the language perhaps will be shocking, but for this story it could not be otherwise. I saw an allegorical significance. Aren' the characters recognizable, not in their extreme, but at least mildly in all of us? Oh, you'll disagree, but you'll be wrong unless you've never had a dark thought.There is a second story in the book, Conscience, which is just as good as the first. It's the story of a professional killer. In this story we don't see the seamy, but we see the brutal and the inner conflict, a person who is not as evil in thought as he is in deed. Reviewed by the author of The Children's Story, A Novel Not for children (about good and evil).

  • Russell
    2019-04-30 22:39

    Awsome story by one of the godfathers of the "Splatterpunk" Horror Genre. Closing time in a back woods strip club and an elegant and mysterious stranger with a brief case full of slimey (literally) money who uses it to change the denizens of the club in deliciously evil ways. Thats the extent of the plot. Does it need a more complex plot?. This isn't meant to be anything other than a charachter driven story. Is it short ??. Yes it is , but hey it's supposed to take place in the space of one night. If you made it longer then the pace of the story would have suffered

  • Warren Thoms
    2019-05-16 21:36

    I really liked the people in the story but I wish that the book was longer. I guess that is a sign of a good book. Mom was the best character with her resolve with what she had to do. This is the first book of John Skipp that I have read and I will look for more as it was a good story although it made me think of Richard Laymon's "One Rainy Night", not sure which one came out first.

  • Robb Bridson
    2019-04-25 00:37

    Reads like a nice stupid horror movie, well-paced. The characters are all stereotypes and the climax is just an orgy of gore. The weird stuff is never explained or expanded upon or anything. But it's a quick fun read. Also includes a novella called "Conscience" which I will review separately. That story so far seems more promising.

  • Shawn Manning
    2019-04-27 23:36

    Very well doneI've been a fan of the author since the 1980's and I have to say, these two novellas are among the best he's written. It's ironic that Brian Keene wrote the introduction, as the first story could have been written by him. It's mentioned that it was originally conceived as a film. I would love to see that happen.

  • Kurt Reichenbaugh
    2019-05-09 22:38

    The dark stranger comes to "a sleazy shithole bar, at the ass end of America, at the tawdry beginning of the 21st century" to play havoc on the hustlers, losers and dreamers inside. This is short grindhouse style horror; a bloody Valentine, but in the end, not a hell of a lot to sink your teeth into.

  • Brian
    2019-05-10 20:46

    In a small town strip club, a stranger appears with a briefcase of slimy money. All characters are told to stay and participate in the compelling man's private party. That's when Hell just about opens up. Dark, bizarre horror novella. Read with the light on. And then take a shower after you read it. You might feel a bit slimy.

  • Eduardo
    2019-05-23 01:42

    A good page-turner that never slows down and Skipp know how to keep things interesting until the very last page. I didn’t totally love the ending and that’s why I’m giving it 4 stars, still I enjoyed this novella and it was a quick read, I’d definitely recommend it.

  • William
    2019-04-22 01:33

    Don't be deceived by the length of this book. It is really only about 170 pages. The paperback contains this story and another novella. Entertaining read. Plenty of sex and violence even though the story was a bit short.

  • Xander
    2019-05-21 21:19

    This is one of my favorite horror stories. Over the top, ridiculous demon shenanigans in a Strip Club. I thought the pacing was fantastic and if there wasn't an MPAA to contend with, this would make one hell of a movie.

  • Donald
    2019-05-02 23:34

    I have steered clear of "Splatterpunk" Horror prior to this. There is just so much out there to read that I couldn't be bothered.I got my copy from the "Bargain Bin" at Cemetery Dance Publications and actually enjoyed the story. My copy is a signed limited edition (750 copies)

  • K.K.
    2019-05-16 19:24

    Freakin' AWESOME, of course, but what has Skipp ever written that WASN'T awesome? The scale of this book is its only flaw...basically a bunch of flawed characters in a strip club...but Skipp makes you care about all of them before he unleashes HELL!!!Great work, John...KK

  • Jon
    2019-04-24 02:29

    I was expecting a little more, just don't know what. Didn't read the second story.

  • Melissa St. Hilaire
    2019-05-23 00:46

    Forgot to post that I finished this before. Just the short story at the end tho. My introduction to John Skipp and now I must read more. Fascinating story. Love his insight and various asides, too.